- Become toleration-free. When you’re tolerating (i.e., putting up with stuff) you’ve given your personal power to the very person, place, or thing you are tolerating. By shifting from a person who puts up with stuff to becoming toleration-free, you take back what was yours to begin with.
- Get your personal needs met. You’re familiar with physical needs such as food, water, and shelter, but did you know that you have personal needs? Some common personal needs are the need for appreciation, recognition, safety, and the need to be right. We are subconsciously driven to satisfy your unmet needs. (And, it’s not pretty.) This energy results in some not-so-attractive behavior, as well as, a sense of helplessness. By consciously getting our needs met, we can choose healthy behaviors that support us in achieving our business goals.
- Set strong boundaries. Boundaries are imaginary lines drawn to tell others the type of behaviors or interactions that are acceptable and unacceptable. It may be okay that someone offers constructive criticism, but it may not be okay that they deliver that corrective communication in a way that is degrading or demeaning. You have a right to protect yourself from behavior that diminishes your spirit. In fact, you have a responsibility to assert clear and strong boundaries. You don’t need to suffer “pushoveritis” to be successful.
- Clarify you values. Values are who you are. They are the behavior and activities that you’re naturally drawn to when expressed in the day-to-day workings of your business, bring you great joy and satisfaction.
Think back to when you were 6 years old. What was it that you loved doing? Were you naturally inspired to create, explore, teach, or relate? Once you know, and are able to tap into your values, your ability to make smart, strategic decisions is enhanced.
- Develop a reserve for fear. Common advice for facing fear is “feel the fear and do it anyway.” (That concept never quite worked for me.) Fear indicates a pending risk.
One way to alleviate fear is to develop a reserve (i.e. more than you need) around what you fear. For instance, if your fear is a threat to financial stability, a financial reserve to grow your small business may be in order.
Eliminating fear through developing reserves keeps you tapping into your power and allows you to move into action and grow your business.
- Practice self-kindness. Self-kindness is the ability to take better care of oneself. Considered by some to be a luxury, it is a necessary resource required of a powerful person.
Habits of self-kindness include frequent use of the word “no”, life balance, healthy eating, regular exercise, and hanging out with those who treat you as a brilliant person capable of accomplishing great things.
- Acknowledge your strengths and gifts. Buying into the perceptions of others as truth can drain your power. For instance, assertive, ambitious, energetic, hard driving, and determined may be perceived as an asset for one gender group and a liability for another.
Some praise weaknesses as strengths; some perceive strengths as weaknesses. Decide for yourself what force you posses.
- Operate at 51%. Unless you’ve had a frontal lobotomy (i.e. removal of the frontal lobe of the brain) that renders you inept, you are responsible for all that is happening and not happening, in your life. Erica Jong said, “Take your life in your own hands and what happens? A terrible thing; there’s no one to blame.” Take control over your response to life.
Despite all that’s written about personal power, it still is often misinterpreted and confused with manipulation. That’s control, not power. When you have true power, you don’t need control.